Parliament passed a bill on Thursday to include “Betta-Kuruba” along with “Kadu Kuruba” in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Karnataka.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2022 through a voice vote on Thursday.
The Lok Sabha had, on December 19, passed the bill that was piloted by Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda in the Upper House.
The minister said the bill seeks to provide justice to the Betta-Kuruba community, which has only about 5,000 members living in Karnataka.
“The state government of Karnataka has requested to include ‘Betta-Kuruba’ community as a synonym of ‘Kadu Kuruba’ in entry 16 in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Karnataka,” said the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.
Responding to the issues raised by Opposition members, Mr Munda alleged that the Congress has not done anything for the welfare of the tribal community and is now shedding crocodile tears.
He said the Narendra Modi government is trying to ensure justice for all sections of the society.
Once the bill is approved by Parliament and the rules are framed, the members of the Betta-Kuruba community will be entitled to all the benefits provided to the Scheduled Tribes, especially reservation in educational institutions and government jobs.
The bill was passed in the absence of leading Opposition parties Congress, Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), RJD, JD(U) and DMK. The Opposition members walked out of the house, boycotting the day’s proceedings, after sharp exchanges over their demand to hold a discussion on the India-China border dispute.
However, the members of some Opposition parties participated in the discussion.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Dola Sen supported the bill but asked the government to bring a comprehensive legislation covering the tribes of all the states.
She also sought the status of a proposal from the West Bengal government to include 11 communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes for the state.
Supporting the bill, AIADMK’s M Thambiduari sought the inclusion of the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu in the list of Scheduled Tribes of the southern state.
Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Sant Balbir Singh, Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) Niranjan Bishi, YSR Congress member Subhas Chandra Bose Pilli and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) Mahua Maji participated in the debate and supported the bill.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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